Polychromatic analysis of biological specimens has become increasingly important because of the emerging new fields of high-content and high-throughput single cell analysis for systems biology and cytomics. Combining different technologies and staining methods, multicolor analysis can be pushed forward to measure anything stainable in a cell. We term this approach hyperchromatic cytometry and present different components suitable for achieving this task. For cell analysis, slide based cytometry (SBC) technologies are ideal as, unlike flow cytometry, they are non-consumptive, i.e. the analyzed sample is fixed on the slide and can be reanalyzed following restaining of the object.
Methods and Results:
We demonstrate various approaches for hyperchromatic analysis on a SBC instrument, the Laser Scanning Cytometer. The different components demonstrated here include (1) polychromatic cytometry (staining of the specimen with eight or more different fluorochromes simultaneously), (2) iterative restaining (using the same fluorochrome for restaining and subsequent reanalysis), (3) differential photobleaching (differentiating fluorochromes by their different photostability), (4) photoactivation (activating fluorescent nanoparticles or photocaged dyes), and (5) photodestruction (destruction of FRET dyes). Based on the ability to relocate cells that are immobilized on a microscope slide with a precision of ∼1 μm, identical cells can be reanalyzed on the single cell level after manipulation steps.
With the intelligent combination of several different techniques, the hyperchromatic cytometry approach allows to quantify and analyze all components of relevance on the single cell level. The information gained per specimen is only limited by the number of available antibodies and sterical hindrance. © 2006 International Society for Analytical Cytology